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  Preface by 3AD Web Editor: Presented in this website section is a sampling of the Patton Museum's very popular 2004-2006 Presley exhibit - the greatest, and possibly the last, retrospective display anywhere of "The King" as a military man. The location - the Patton at Ft. Knox, KY - was most fitting. This is America's premier armor museum, and Ft. Knox was the 3rd Armored Division's home for ten years before its Cold War deployment to Germany in 1956. It was also at Ft. Knox where, in Oct. of 1992, the Division was formally deactivated in a "casing of the colors" ceremony, where attendee's included four former Spearhead Commanding Generals; the Army Chief of Staff; twenty-five 3AD WWII veterans; and contingents from local Army units.

(See press article below)

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By Staff Sgt. Sean Riley of Inside the Turret magazine

A Public Affairs release by the U.S. Army Training
and Doctrine Command

FORT KNOX, Ky. (TRADOC News Service, March 4, 2004) -- If transitioning from civilian to Soldier can sometimes be an arduous process, imagine transitioning from superstar to Soldier.

Elvis Presley made the change, and did so as a private. On March 24, 1958, during the Cold War, Presley was drafted into active duty as a tanker.

Fort Knox's famed Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor will honor Presley's tour of duty with a 2-year-long exhibit that opens to the public March 24, 2004, the 46th anniversary of his induction into the Army.

At the time, many thought Presley would wind up in a special services unit, traveling to entertain troops around the globe as his primary duty. But Presley didn't want it that way. Instead, he spent much of his duty in a jeep as part of a reconnaissance platoon. The MOS is known today as a cavalry scout.

The focus of the exhibit will be Presley's dedication to duty and will shed light on the serious Soldier who did his duty, explained Frank Jardim, the Patton Museum director.

"He wanted to be respected. He wanted to be a person who people would look at and say, 'That guy did his part,'" said Jardim. "So, (Elvis) goes into the service and declines the opportunity to perform. He could have had a cushy life as a superstar, but instead, as a matter of his dignity, he just (wanted) to do his part like everyone else."

When his two-year stint was over in March 1960, Elvis returned to his life of stardom.

His military experience was not unlike many other Soldiers, Jardim said, adding that Presley was always very proud of his military experience.

In 1964 Presley donated the money from one of his concerts to the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. That, according to Jardim, is an example of the patriotism Presley felt.

Jardim expects the exhibit to be a success in enlightening the public to a normally unseen or unknown side of the superstar.

During his short tour in the Army, Elvis met his lifelong friend, Joe Esposito, who eventually became his road manager. Esposito will be at the museum for the exhibition's opening.

Artifacts from Graceland will be shipped on loan to the Patton Museum for use in the exhibit. Items will include his uniforms, official documents from his career and postcards and letters written by Presley. The exhibit will also feature weapons and vehicles like the ones Presley trained on and used.

The Patton Museum is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission to the museum is free.

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